Should you learn Irish Gaelic if you were born in Ireland or you have Irish heritage? You should, but only if you want to. You don’t want to learn Irish if it’s not something to do. Making it a chore will make it so you won’t get too far before giving up.
Moving forward from moral obligations, learning Irish Gaelic can be a great tool to fill in the blanks.
We’re talking about people with Irish heritage, mostly U.S. residents, members of families that moved to this country hundred of years ago. While they don’t have any obligation to know how to speak Irish Gaelic, learning the language can help them learn more about their history, family’s origin, and why not, about themselves.
Even if you’re able just to scratch the surface (you don’t have to get fluent in Irish to understand more about your origin), that’s a good sign. Making sure you enjoy the journey of learning Irish is another great tactic, and that’s where Bitesize Irish Gaelic can help you. With a wide variety of learning tools, provided by us in an easy-to-understand manner, you will have the opportunity to learn more about your Irish heritage.
Using Bitesize Irish Gaelic to fill in the blanks
John Moriarty, Bitesize Irish Gaelic community member is using our tools to fill in the gap in his mind when it comes to Irish vocabulary. He has an Irish heritage, and he considers himself to be a novice in more than one language including Spanish and French. Read his interview, and maybe you’ll get inspired to learn a bit of Irish Gaelic today.
Bitesize: Where abouts in the world do you live?
John: I live in the United States, more specifically in the state of Florida, in the town of Fleming Island. We are located about 25 KM south of the city of Jacksonville, Florida and about 50 KM north of the city of St. Augustine, Florida. I was originally from the state of Massachusetts and grew up there in a town just south of Boston, Massachusetts.
Bitesize: What got you wanting to speak Irish Gaelic?
John: I am generally quite interested in foreign languages and enjoy studying them although, without the environment to be speaking them each day, it turns out to be not very productive but still enjoyable. I consider myself a novice in any language I have ventured into but can in a very amateurish way speak in French and Spanish. My Irish family roots and the Irish culture (Americanized) that I was reared in has prompted my interest in the Irish language. I knew bits and pieces from others in the family growing up but never was serious about studying it until recently. That’s a pity.
Bitesize: Do you have Irish ancestry? Tell us about it.
John: I do have Irish ancestry that was quite a strong Irish influence in my rearing, somewhat in the way I was brought up (culture and traditions) and most certainly in the food and its’ preparation that we experienced. My Father’s grandparents came to the U.S. from Ireland at the time of the famine.
They were from County Kerry and lived in tow lands near Tralee. After coming to U.S., they spent most of their time trying to assimilate into this country, although the first generation spoke primarily Irish for some years.
My mother’s father was born in a small townland near Youghal, in County Cork and came to the U.S. in the late 1800’s. I can remember from years ago when I was a small boy listening to my mother and the older women speaking with each other and over and over I would hear the sound “is sea” or “sea” and always wondered what “is” was.
Bitesize: How do you use Bitesize Irish Gaelic?
John: I have used Bitesize Irish, to this point, in a very academic way. Reading through the lessons, trying to memorize a bit. In general, I would say I try to use it as you would a text book. I try going over lesson dialogues in my mind after the lesson since I really have no person to speak with, and secondly my recall of Irish vocabulary and the syntax, etc. are weak enough at this stage it seems best to keep the mistakes contained to me rather than others.
I am trying to find a more efficient streamlined way to pick the language up. Memorizing vocabulary and timely vocabulary recall are the main problem for me.
Bitesize: What advice would you have for a total beginner of Irish Gaelic?
John: I hesitate to provide any advice to a beginner as I have not reached a point where I have achieved enough success to point out a clear road to success.
Best I would say to plug away and speak with yourself in Irish as much as you are able.
Whatever approach you want to take, be it academic or your own personal method, make the first step and sign up for a Bitesize Irish Gaelic membership. If you want to start slow, that’s also fine – you can always sign up for our free trial!